The new United Nations Human Development Report is the first of these annual surveys to focus on the intersection of climate change and efforts to improve the human condition.
Its conclusions, as I wrote today, largely follow those of other United Nations assessments of the challenges posed by human-caused climate change — particularly the call for prompt, aggressive reductions in greenhouse gases by developed countries, along with a lot more aid for the poor countries most in harm’s way.
The report also echoes themes laid out in a package of stories in The Times this year showing the “climate divide” that splits the world into sharply delineated camps — most notably wealthy countries with huge emissions of greenhouse gases and vulnerable poor countries with scant emissions.
Reactions of all kinds are pouring in. I’m posting a few of the first responses below.
The report itself is worth a deeper look, particularly the excellent online resources. Those include maps showing per-capita and total emissions of greenhouse gases, and creative animated graphics showing how the development tracks of a host of nations complicate the search for agreement on next steps under the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change, after the Kyoto Protocol’s terms expire in 2012.
There is a also a selection of videotaped interviews with experts who contributed to the report as well as the lead author, Kevin Watkins of the United Nations Development Program.
Comments begin below. Add yours. I hope a discussion here can help reveal which policy choices really could work and which are well-intended wishful thinking.